Drafting a resume can seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t feel like you have the requisite skills or experience you think the recruiter or prospective employer is looking for.
While we can’t promise you a magic formula or a miracle app that will transform your resume overnight and alleviate all your concerns, we can give you specific advice and show you practical steps on how to fill your resume with valuable skills and personality traits that are proven to impress recruiters and prospective employers alike.
A Well-Written Resume – More Than a List of Experiences
A well-written resume should be far more than a concise summary of your work experiences and educational background. Whoever reads your resume should come away with an overarching sense of your growth, your ambition, and your ability to adapt to new environments and situations.
While it’s important to boost your career, it is also important to present the training you’ve gone through in the best possible way. After all, regardless of what skills or know-how the training gives you, the simple fact that you completed the training program should, if presented the right way, inform the recruiter that you are ambitious, intellectually curious and you possess the willingness and aptitude to acquire new skills.
If you don’t have a lot of work experience or if the work experience you have does not seem to appear relevant to the job you are applying for, there is another angle you should consider taking when writing your resume – highlight your intellectual curiosity and your aptitude at acquiring new skills.
Webinars, Tutorials, and Online Courses
Beyond learning new skills relevant to certain tasks and professions, participating in webinars, tutorials, and online courses have another important value. Your participation demonstrates to a potential employer your willingness or eagerness to learn. This is important to any and all jobs. And it is a characteristic all recruiters look for in the candidates they are reviewing.
How It Should Be Presented
You have a few options as to how you would like to present the webinars, tutorials, or online course you have completed.
- Create a dedicated section on your resume – This section could have as a heading ‘Webinars and Tutorials’, depending on the information you place in the section. You could include dates as well as the number of days or hours you spent completing the course or webinar.
- List the courses in conjunction with the skills acquired – If you have a section of your resume labeled ‘Skills’ or ‘Tools’, you could tag each skill listed with the corresponding course or tutorial that enabled you to acquire the skill or master the relevant tool.
- In a section of your resume titled ‘Characteristics’ or ‘Personality’ list ‘Intellectually Curious’ as one of your personality traits, and list the webinars and tutorials you’ve completed as examples.
Training and Certificates
Much like webinars, tutorials, and online courses, training courses that issue completion certificates can be an excellent way to show your potential employer or recruiter that you have the desire and aptitude to acquire new skills and know-how.
The added benefit is that if you wish to demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and your willingness and ability to acquire new skills, the training courses you complete don’t need to be relevant to the job you are applying for in order for them to still have value.
Anything from cooking classes or a pottery course to video editing and web design has merit. You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home to enroll and follow training programs.
Some of the more popular online training platforms include:
- Skillshare – Offering a wide variety of courses in a variety of fields, Skillshare courses tend to lean toward creative or artistic endeavors such as graphic design, poetry, and photography, but they do also have a section of courses dedicated to business.
- Udemy – They boast a selection of over 130,000 online courses, with more being added each week. Udemy is especially interesting for those looking to gain or improve their knowledge of software development, coding, and web design.
- Future Learn – Unlike the above-mentioned platforms, Future Learn is free to use. And their courses were not designed by other uses but rather by top universities and specialist training institutions.
For people trying to break into the job market, often they are confronted with quite a frustrating Catch 22 – In order to acquire new skills, you need to get a job; but in order to get a job, you need to have acquired new skills.
Volunteer programs offer an excellent opportunity to break this frustrating cycle. And, they give you the opportunity to help those in need, improve your community, and meet great people in the process.
In addition to demonstrating to your prospective employer or recruiter that you are proactive and that you have experience putting your skills into practice, volunteer programs also demonstrate a certain sense of altruism which, for a recruiter, can easily translate to ‘being a team player.’
In fact, since volunteer programs typically involve organizations or teams, it might not be a bad idea to list the volunteer programs you’ve participated in with the tag ‘Team Player’ in the ‘Personality Traits’ section of your resume.
To find a volunteer program that suits your interests, you can visit your local community center or place of worship. Additionally, you can find volunteer programs online on websites such as:
If you’re interested in volunteering abroad, there is no shortage of opportunities. For volunteer opportunities abroad, check out International Volunteer HQ.
Hosting or Organizing Events
Even without work experience, you can show your prospective employer or recruiter that you possess initiative, organizational skills, and the ability to motivate others. Consider using social media to organize and host an event. Your event can be online or held at a local community center, place of worship, or even at a local cafe or restaurant.
As simple as it may seem – and it is simple – don’t underestimate the impact this kind of initiative and creative and organizational expression can have on employers. Regardless of the position you are applying for, the chances are high that the employer will value someone with the organizational skills and the initiative it takes to organize an event.
How to Go About It
There are 2 easy ways to organize an event. The first involves social media, while the second involves a community center or place of worship – somewhere where people are already accustomed to gathering in order to explore or share a common interest or promote or help out a worthy cause.
Find a Common Passion or Cause
A common passion could be something as simple as a book club or a cooking club. Or you could try to raise money for a local, national or international charity. It doesn’t need to be massive, you just need to demonstrate initiative.
Find a Venue for Your Event
Community centers, places of worship, and even cafes are good places to hold a small to mid-sized event. You shouldn’t need to put up any money either. Cafes are happy to have you bring them some extra customers. And community centers and places of worship are nonprofit and should be accustomed to holding events free of charge.
Create an Event Page on Social Media
Creating an event page on a social media platform will serve both as an invitation and as publicity for your event. It is not difficult to do. If you have a preference for Facebook, check out this simple article on creating an event page on Facebook.
For Instagram, check out this article on how to promote your event on Instagram.
For LinkedIn, check out this article.
Regardless of the size or success of your event, the simple fact that you organized and hosted it shows a recruiter or prospective employer your passion, willingness, and ability to take initiative, and your organizational skills.
Videos, Pics, Blogs, and Other Creations
You don’t need to wait for a company to hire you to gain marketable experience. There is no shortage of online platforms dedicated to creating and sharing content. These platforms are designed to be user-friendly, but there are tools and software packages that you need to learn in order to use them.
Creating a video for YouTube is free, relatively easy to do, and can even be a lot of fun. You don’t necessarily have to record yourself, you can edit and splice together already existing video content to make it your own.
To create video content for YouTube, you will have to use some video editing software. Though it may come at a cost, most video editing software packages offer free trial periods which are long enough for you to do a project or two before you need to spend any money.
Before your free trial period has come to an end, you will have learned how to use the software – thanks to the tutorials they and others provide – and you will have created and uploaded your content – enough to demonstrate your acquired skills or justify including what you’ve learned on your resume.
In a section of your resume where you list your skills or the software you have learned, you can provide actual proof of the skills you have acquired in the form of a link to your creation.
If video editing isn’t your thing, you take a similar approach to photography or design. With online platforms like Canva or BeFunky – which are free to use and quite user-friendly – you have the tools and tutorials available to you to learn and demonstrate photo editing skills you may not have realized you possessed.
There is no shortage of tools and platforms available – many at no cost whatsoever. You don’t need prior experience to get started. And you will quickly be able to demonstrate to a prospective employer or recruiter that you possess the desire and the aptitude to learn new skills and that you possess the initiative and curiosity to seek them out and give them a try.
Your resume should include a list of tools you have learned, the tutorials or training programs you have followed in order to learn these tools, and the links to the creations you’ve made as a result. Remember, your goal shouldn’t be to wow the recruiter or prospective employer with the content you create, but rather to demonstrate that you are proactive, intellectually curious, and productive.
It used to be the case that in order to find a good job you had to break the frustrating cycle of the infamous Catch 22 – to get a good job, you need to have skills and experience; in or to gain skills and experience you need to have a job. Thanks to the digital revolution, combined with intellectual curiosity and initiative on your part, that is, thankfully, no longer the case.
Even if you don’t have experience and you think you might not have skills that make you an attractive candidate to a prospective employer or recruiter, there are relatively easy steps you can take to change all of that.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas as to how to go about acquiring and demonstrating skills and attributes that will make you seen as a valuable asset any company would feel lucky to incorporate into their company. With those highlights and a great cover letter, you’ll be on your way. Godspeed!